Wednesday, October 17, 2012

One brave and awesome woman!

Today, I am posting a picture of the breast pocket I have created for Melanie Testa, an artist that I admire for her strength, courage and bravery.

She has put out a challenge for folks to make 1000 breast pockets to raise awareness for the women who choose not to reconstruct their bodies after breast cancer and to pave awareness for those who would like to put their forms aside entirely. Breast pockets are coming in to Melanie from around the world! My pocket honors Melanie's passion and bravery. Here's a quote from Melanie:
"I would never have thought that an aspect of the cancer experience would make me feel so passionate. I firmly believe the ability to ‘Go Flat’ is an issue of women’s rights. This is an issue of body autonomy, women must have complete control over the only thing we can control, our bodies. As a result, Going Flat must become normalized. Women who forgo reconstruction should not wear breast forms for any other reason than having a preference to do so.
When the beautiful, diminutive 75 year old fella pool program attendee looked at me and pinched her ‘bubby’, which is what she calls her breast form, telling me she hated wearing it for the last __ years (more than 2 decades). I fell in love with her, and fell in love with being a feminist, again. Her daughter keeps telling her to put the breast form away. But she does not feel able to leave the breast form behind!
She called me brave. A teacher. She looked at me in awe.
And I am brave, many women cannot imagine leaving home without their breast forms. Others very much want to leave them behind, but feel pressure to wear them for their jobs, and for the people in their lives who expect them to look a certain way. As more women like me, Margaret W. Smith and Jodi Jaecks put their bodies and their choices out there, normalization of this bodily form, this aspect of women’s lives, will occur. Society will re-member the full array of shapes that an individual woman’s body can take in a lifetime. But no woman should feel compelled to wear forms because our society is misogynist and ignorant and has set up an expectation of what the female form should look like. Especially in light of breast cancer."
You can read more on Melanie's blog here.

Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been.
                                                                                       --Alan Alda

Saturday, October 6, 2012


I am currently finishing up an online class that I signed up for in August. It's called Spirit Cloth 101 and is led by Jude Hill, a wonderful embroiderer whom I admire for her whimsical and slow approach to quilting. AND, I'm having so much fun--it feels like play to me. Big shout-out to Jude Hill here.

In the class we created small sampler quilts by assembling the bases first. Those bases could be whole cloth, patch worked or woven. Of course there are other methods but these were the methods Jude taught. My favorite was the woven approach so that is how I proceeded with a base. I actually made several bases that I will use at a later date.

My sampler began with a 9-patch structure using the weave as the structure of each square and then the "what-iffing" began. I used a simple leaf shape for my focus using bits of fabric that I had laying around in my fabric stash. The leaves look playful, hence, the title. Also the word "play" will be embroidered in the top left corner.

laying out the leaves...
Finding ways to embellish has been engaging my creative abilities and I feel "at home" when doing hand stitching. That "at home" feeling seems to center me and makes life peaceful. It has a wonderful, meditative quality that I love being part of. My piece is not finished as each leaf needs a personality of its own. I will be adding some wind lines when the leaves are finished to give the piece movement. Here are some pictures of my work on this piece up to this point.

some embroidery has been added--still what-iffing on how to proceed
reverse applique
windblown tree on mini woven base

“It is a happy talent to know how to play.”
                                                                 ― Ralph Waldo Emerson